Njála, 125

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Chapter 125

OF PORTENTS.


At Reykium on Skeid dwelt one Runolf Thorstein's son. His son's name was Hildiglum. He went out on the night of the Lord's day, when nine weeks were still to winter; he heard a great crash, so that he thought both heaven and earth shook. Then he looked into the west "airt," and he thought he saw thereabouts a ring of fiery hue, and within the ring a man on a grey horse. He passed quickly by him, and rode hard. He had a flaming firebrand in his hand, and he rode so close to him that he could see him plainly. He was as black as pitch, and he sung this song with a mighty voice:

"Here I ride swift steed, His Bank flecked with rime, Rain from his mane drips, Horse mighty for harm; Flames flare at each end, Gall glows in the midst, So fares it with Flosi's redes As this flaming brand flies; And so fares it with Flosi's redes As this flaming brand flies."

Then he thought he hurled the firebrand east towards the fells before him, and such a blaze of fire leapt up[1] to meet it that he could not see the fells for the blaze. It seemed as though that man rode east among the flames and vanished there.

After that he went to his bed, and was senseless a long time, but at last he came to himself. He bore in mind all that had happened, and told his father, but he bade him tell it to Hjallti Skeggi's son. So he went and told Hjallti, but he said he had seen "'the Wolf's ride,' and that comes ever before great tidings."

References

  1. blaze of fire leapt up : " The fire that burns Njal, his house and his family, is rehearsed many times before Flosi’s men start it in retribution for the killing of Hoskuld. In the first half of the saga, for example, Gunnar’s house is burnt down in a way that links the two parts of the narrative. Several omens also presage the second fire. Hildiglum, for example, witnesses a ‘witch-ride’ (gandreið): a vision of a man riding a grey horse through a ring of fire, and throwing his burning torch into the mountains, whereupon ‘such a great flame sprang up that he could no longer see the mountains‘. " Cohen, Jeffrey; Stephanie Trigg. Fire (p. 86)

Kafli 125

Að Reykjum á Skeiðum bjó Runólfur Þorsteinsson. Hildiglúmur hét son hans. Hann gekk út drottinsdagsnótt þá er níu vikur voru til vetrar. Hann heyrði brest mikinn svo að honum þótti skjálfa bæði jörð og himinn. Síðan leit hann í vesturættina. Hann þóttist sjá þangað hring og eldslit á og í hringinum mann á grám hesti. Hann bar skjótt yfir og fór hann hart. Hann hafði loganda eldbrand í hendi. Hann reið svo nær honum að hann mátti gjörla sjá hann. Hann var svartur sem bik. Hann kvað vísu þessa með mikilli raust:


37. Eg reið hesti

hélugbarða,

úrigtoppa,

ills valdanda.

Eldur er í endum,

eitur er í miðju.

Svo er um Flosa ráð

sem fari kefli

og svo er um Flosa ráð

sem fari kefli.


Þá þótti honum hann skjóta brandinum austur til fjallanna og þótti honum hlaupa upp eldur mikill[1] í móti svo að hann þóttist ekki sjá til fjallanna fyrir. Honum sýndist sjá maður ríða austur undir eldinn og hvarf þar. Síðan gekk hann til rúms síns og fékk langt óvit og rétti þó við úr því. Hann mundi allt það er fyrir hann hafði borið og sagði föður sínum en hann bað hann segja Hjalta Skeggjasyni. Hann fór og sagði Hjalta.

En hann kvað hann séð hafa gandreið „og er það jafnan fyrir stórtíðindum.“


Tilvísanir

  1. hlaupa upp eldur mikill : " The fire that burns Njal, his house and his family, is rehearsed many times before Flosi’s men start it in retribution for the killing of Hoskuld. In the first half of the saga, for example, Gunnar’s house is burnt down in a way that links the two parts of the narrative. Several omens also presage the second fire. Hildiglum, for example, witnesses a ‘witch-ride’ (gandreið): a vision of a man riding a grey horse through a ring of fire, and throwing his burning torch into the mountains, whereupon ‘such a great flame sprang up that he could no longer see the mountains‘. " Cohen, Jeffrey; Stephanie Trigg. Fire (s. 86)

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